EarperConUK: That’s Everybody’s Thing
By: Danielle Cox
A girl with a big ass demon killing gun. Doc Holliday himself. Mysterious Special Agent Dolls. The nicest person in Purgatory (there was a vote and a sash). Officer Haught (of course). BoBo and his love of coats. This is “Wynonna Earp,” the little Canadian show that could. From the mind of Beau Smith, created for television by Emily Andras, this series has taken over the world in seventeen months and the weekend of September 15, 2017 introduced EarperConUK, the first ever convention purely for “Wynonna Earp.” This event has been a long time in the making with fans from all over the world heading to London to experience this earptastic weekend and I was lucky enough to witness it all.
I managed to buy a Peacemaker ticket for this weekend, which meant that my convention started on the Friday night at the meet and greet. After dinner, it was announced that each table would get fifteen minutes with each guest. Our table started with Tim Rozon. In our fifteen minutes, we got Tim discussing his Season Three wish list, which included Doc having his hero moment on a horse and a gun dual (where Wynonna would inevitably have to take over after Doc does something to mess everything up). Tim was a delight to meet, taking time to include everyone at our table and proving he really is as much of a fan as us. Next up we had the lively Shamier Anderson. He is one exciting guy and he was so happy to be talking to all of us about Season Three, Dolls, our favourite characters (you were right Shamier, my face DOES light up at the mention of BoBo) and how he wanted to DJ the disco on Saturday night. The lovely Dominique Provost-Chalkley was our next guest and she is just as lovely as you would imagine. She took the time to meet everyone at our table, speak French to one of the fans who travelled from France (cue heart eyes all over) and discuss Season Three. Dom and I had a great discussion about how happy we would both be to see “research” Waverly back this season. I also mentioned I had a geeky question to ask her and she sat forward in excitement as I asked what her favourite book is (she had to go away and think about it and Dom, you still haven’t told me!). Before she moved on to the next table, I wanted to share my WayHaught duo photo idea with her and she adorably leant over so we could whisper to each other. When Kat Barrell came to our table, everyone understandably got excited because she is a sweetheart. She took the time to talk to everyone and discussed how she wants to learn French and how she wishes she had learnt to play the piano as a kid. We, of course, talked about her mom cosplaying as Officer Haught and how amazing it was to see! One of the fans mentioned being an artist and learning from YouTube to which Kat replied, “You can learn anything on there!” I mentioned the duo photo idea I shared with Dom and Kat told me she wanted to be surprised. Last to our table was Michael Eklund, the phenomenal BoBo. To say I was excited to meet him is an understatement. BoBo is one of my two favorite characters so getting his insight was amazing. He told us that the reason BoBo’s nails are painted blue is to raise child abuse awareness – he didn’t want anyone thinking that BoBo abused Willa or Waverly. We all discussed our theories as to why Peacemaker turned blue twice and he had so many great theories about certain aspects of the show. The dinner went on for longer than we thought and as the staff were trying to show the guests out, Tim made his way back to our table to talk with Brittany (because Tim always good).
Official Day One didn’t start well for me. I woke up with a migraine, but I was determined to show up downstairs so I donned my Officer Haught cosplay (thanks Kayse) and headed out for the opening panel. In all honesty, I can’t remember this panel because I felt so awful, but luckily I did begin to feel better in time for my photos! First up I had my WayHaught photo with Kat and Dom. You’ll remember Kat wanted to be surprised so in a bounce with my Haught cosplay and casually say to Dom, “Kat doesn’t know what we’re doing!” and we then proceeded to pose, forgetting to let Kat know our pose! This led to a confused yet adorable Kat twisting around trying to see what we were doing before I remembered to tell her “Charlie’s Angels” and we all posed for our photo. My next photo (I spent a lot of time queuing that day) was with Michael and he was so excited to be there! I asked for a BoBo hug and he delivered one of the best hugs for our photo! On my way out, I saw Tim and stopped to give him a moustache pin with the words “I’m all in” and we chatted for a while about that scene in the show before I headed out to queue for my Tim and Shamier photo. Tim had somehow managed to get hold of a Peacemaker gun to pose with, Shamier did his best Dolls face and I just smiled like an idiot in the middle.
With all the queuing for photos, I didn’t manage to see a lot of the panels but I did manage to see some. The boys panel was especially entertaining. A fan asked who they would audition for and this question led to Tim and Michael acting out the WayHaught cheerleading scene for us. Someone had pompoms for Michael and Tim borrowed the Stetson I was wearing. Michael, having never watched the scene, had to take pointers from Tim and let me tell you, those boys gave 100% to this. The Wayhaught panel was full of love and support and sneaky little behind the scenes stories. Dom told us how wardrobe accidentally put Nicole’s ring in Waverly’s jewellery box and after she thought it would be cute for them to match. A fan thanked both ladies for their support of the LGBT community which led to Dom and Kat talking about how we need more show with strong female representation and how if we’re going to make any progress we need to keep the conversation open. Later that day we had the autograph sessions and I was lucky enough to see everyone. I gave Dom and Kat a pack of “Wynonna Earp” pins each, hugged Michael again and got the biggest hug from Tim. Shamier left early, but I just managed to sneak in and get his autograph.
Straight after autographs was the cosplay competition. I wasn’t going to enter, but Kat and Tim talked me into it and it was so much fun! There were so many great cosplays like Baby Haught, who I loved meeting! She is the sweetest girl and I’m so glad she had such a great, confidence boosting weekend. There were so many Haught cosplays, Doc Holliday, Wynonna and her revenant, Widow Mercedes and even Lexa of “The 100!” The cast judged us as one by one we took a lap of the floor. In a spur of the moment decision that is a blur to me, I decided to propose to Dom as Nicole Haught. I genuinely cannot remember most of this because I was so nervous, but I do know that I told Dom to keep the ring and managed to not trip over my own feet on the way back. After the cosplay results, meeting Ray Galletti and taking photos with Kat, it was time for a quick change before the disco. True to his word, Shamier turned up for a little while to DJ and dance with people. After that our “ConCrew” spent most of the night exhausted from watching Kayse dance. That girl did not stop all night and from what I saw of everyone else, everyone had a great time!
Sunday, the last day of our magical weekend, was a little less hectic than Saturday but not by much. My first point of call was photos because I had singles with both Dom and Kat. After the success of the “proposal” (I had many people congratulating me) I was excited to see Dom again and she was my first photo that day. I was in the box waiting to be called up and once I was, she looked at me, recognized me and said, “Babe, I’m wearing your ring!” and proceeded to show me. She was indeed wearing the ring I used to propose to her and it honestly blew my mind that she is genuinely that sweet. We took our photo, she waved me off with a “see you later” and I joined the queue for my Kat photo. During all this queuing, I was missing panels but it’s WayHaught, I didn’t mind. Kat was excited to see me again, hugged me for our photo and when I told her I had a gift for her later, she was so sweet and happy. Between photos and autographs I had a chance to eat something for the first time that day and had renewed excitement and energy for the autograph session. This time I was only seeing the girls. I saw Dom first and as soon as she saw our photo her face (and mine) lit up. It was truly a pleasure getting to interact with her over the weekend and that final moment rounded out a wonderful weekend. I then went to Kat, who said our photo was cute (cue me blushing) and gave her the gift. It was a heart necklace with diamonds and her reaction was worth it. She was so happy and touched and it made my weekend seeing that.
Before the last panel of the convention, Earpers were going around giving out “Thank You” signs for us all to hold up as the cast walked in for the final panel. It was an emotional moment for everyone. Dom started crying, Tim took a sign for himself and Kevin Bachelder told me that was his favorite moment of the weekend.
This weekend meant so much to me on a personal level because I met so many new, lifelong friends and the cast made me feel so included and like family. Meeting Dom and Kat was particularly emotional for me because their characters have truly changed my life for the better and I felt so honoured and so cared for by them. So many people had similar experiences with the cast. Joe (@FlailerOfAScot) noted they will forever remember how accepting and supportive both the cast and fans are. A common memory from this weekend and one that Liz (@LizLovesWine1) shared is that they always listen to your story and Baby Haught, Evie Jayne, met her idol in Kat Barrell. She has learnt from watching Nicole to be strong and not let people get to her and that is such a positive message to be telling everyone, especially children.
EarperConUK 2017 was an incredible, magical weekend for everyone who was there and even those who couldn’t make it and followed the events on social media, but it would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the staff, the volunteers and (of course) the cast. To Lisa and Angela, thank you for your tireless work in putting together this weekend. You have given so many people, me included, the best weekend of their lives. To all the volunteers and especially the handlers, thank you for all your work and support. I know we didn’t make it easy for you sometimes but we really do appreciate everything you did for us. Kevin, we were all so honored to have met you. Thank you for working so hard this weekend for everyone, I don’t think I ever saw you take a break! You are one of a kind. A special thanks to Beau Smith and Emily Andras (You were there in button form Emily!), without whom we wouldn’t have our show. And, finally, to the cast. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for coming to London and spending the weekend with us. Thank you Mel [Scorfano] for your delightful, very geographical video message. Thank you for your love and thank you for your support. We love you and hopefully we’ll see each other again at EarperConUK 2018!